The heatwave continues and, between weekend barbecues, I keep on basing my diet on cold soups! Very practical, they solve both packed lunches and lazy dinners. But they are also a combination of seasonal nutrition and incredible flavour. Salmorejo is more of a cream rather than a soup – what we would call in Italian vellutata (lit. made of velvet) – it’s a proud dish from Cordoba and very much dislikes to be so often associated with the liquid, drinkable cousin, Gazpacho. So much so that this year Cordoba university conducted a scientific study to find the perfect consolidation of ingredients for Salmorejo, with the aim of creating some sort of controlled designation of origin and standardize the perfect proportions for its final homogeneous result. This recipe will serve up an excellent Salmorejo: bring it to its utmost by relying on good quality seasonal tomatoes and garnishing it with well-sourced fresh ingredients. It’s also suitable for vegans!
200ml extra virgin olive oil
3 slices of bread
2 cloves of garlic
Step 1 – With a knife perforate the tomatoes’ skin slightly. Then place them in boiling water and simmer them for a few minutes till the skin lifts up. Now they should be easy to peel. For a faster version, you can even skip this step and mix the tomatoes with the skin on!
Step 2 – Take the core of the garlic out, as this will make it easier to digest, and cut it in chunks. Place it into a high bowl, where you know you will be able to use a hand mixer. Add some salt.
Step 3 – Cut the tomatoes into big chunks and add them into the bowl. Start using the hand mixer to reduce the tomatoes into a garlic passata.
Step 4 – Add the oil and keep mixing. Then add the bread in chunks and keep working with the hand mixer till you don’t have any more bits. The bread is the key ingredient that makes Salmorejo creamy, very much confusing those who think it contains actual cream. Your Salmorejo base is now ready.
Step 5 – Prepare the garnish: this can vary according to your taste. A classic way of serving Salmorejo would be topping it with small chunks of Spanish ham and hard boiled eggs, chopped into small pieces. If you are vegetarian or vegan, or like me are craving for time off meat in the mid of the barbecue season, you can simply add bits of your favourite pepper and cucumber to top off this Cordoba speciality.
Who would have thought it was so simple? Let me know if you try this recipe!Follow @blenderbasil